XIIA-"Behind Prison Bars" - Charles Howe - San Francisco Chronicle

XIIA-"Behind Prison Bars" - Charles Howe - San Francisco Chronicle

'The Day We Shook the Yard Down"

by: Charles Howe | publication date: March 9, 1971 | Publication: San Francisco Chronicle | pages: 14

". . .Sergeant Ivanov had taken a shank - a home-made knife - from a Chicano inmate and the word was that a fight was brewing inside San Quentin Prison. 'The word is that the Los Angeles Chicanos are feuding with the El Paso Chicanos,' Ivanov told the five of us. 'Maybe it's gambling, maybe something else. We're try to find out what the beef is so that we can cool it. While we find out, you guys go out in the upper yard and start shaking down' . . ."

Part of his undercover assignment as a San Quentin prison guard for the Chronicle's "Behind Prison Bars" series, reporter Charles Howe describes the drill of "shaking down" inmates to make sure they aren't carrying concealed weapons.

Copyrighted, used with permission.